04 September 2012

Ivy-leaved Bellflower

Ivy-leaved Bellflower (Wahlenbergia hederacea) is an uncommon and declining species in Britain, confined mostly to Wales and the south west of England. With such a striking western oceanic distribution, occupying most of Wales, there are few species with a stronger claim to be Welsh – see British distribution on the BSBI site:-

It grows on the grassy banks of upland streams as well as in marshy grassland and on wet heathland and although plants are small and easily overlooked, it is fairly conspicuous at this time of year. If you’re in the right habitat, there’s little else you can confuse it with. Look for small, pale blue flowers set against a mass of pale green, flimsy, ivy-shaped leaves, usually among grasses and mosses. It’s a real gem! The plants in the photo were growing along the overhanging banks of the Melincourt Brook in the Neath Valley, out of the reach of hungry sheep, the main grazers in many of its favoured habitats. Excessive grazing by sheep may be one reason for its recent decline. In Glamorgan it has been recorded most commonly in the upland areas of the South Wales Coalfield, particularly  in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend County. It appears to be less common in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Given the decline of this species in Britain in general and its importance to the biodiversity of Wales, it would be nice to know more about the current status of this species in our area.    


Barry Stewart said...

Just checked and there are no records for the peninsula - now there's a challenge!

Charles Hipkin said...

Yes, that's interesting. Parts of Cefn Bryn could be suitable. But it wasn't recorded there for the Flora of Glamorgan.

rob ladds said...

you can find it along the Twrch and Haffes, and around Lliw resevoirs

Anonymous said...


I have a school project about flowers and I was wondering if it can be found in other European countries such as France, Holland and Belgium (especially Belgium).
Thanks a lot!